Two Russian nationals are on board the Greek and Norwegian vessels seized by pirates off Somalia, the Greek Mercantile Marine Ministry and Norwegian Shipowners’ Association said on Thursday.
The Nipayia vessel was captured by the pirates about 720 kilometers off Somalia on Wednesday. A spokesman for the Greek Mercantile Marine Ministry said the crew comprised one Russian national and 18 Filipinos.
The Norwegian-owned tanker Bow Asir was seized 400 kilometers off the Somali coast on Thursday morning. A spokesman for the Norwegian Shipowners’ Association said the ship’s captain was Russian. A total of 27 people are on board the vessel.
Around 20 warships from the navies of at least a dozen countries are involved in anti-piracy operations off Somalia, which has been ravaged by years of civil war. According to the United Nations, Somali pirates carried out at least 120 attacks on ships in 2008, resulting in combined ransom payouts of around $150 million.